Tag Archives: substitute

Reader Q&A- Gelatin

9 Sep

Hi RC,

I have never used gelatin for puddings before, and when I get some I plan to try your recipe…but I thought of you when I saw a video this morning, it looks so amazing! I could sub the sugar I’m pretty sure, but all that corn starch that’s in it…do you think the same thing could be accomplished using gelatin? The recipe is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmMsonSfeNw and has all that lovely coconut milk in it…I’d love if it could be healthified but thought I’d ask you for your opinion before I waste some pricey ingredients on a failure. If you think it might work, then I will take the risk though…

Thanks :),

Hi Sherry,

Thanks for the share! It does look yummy, but that is certainly a lot of sugar to have to replace. I don’t have a lot of experience with cornstarch, either, so I can’t really recommend a good replacement ratio.

My advice is to buy some unflavored Knox gelatin at your local grocery store or Walmart. It’s really inexpensive and you can experiment with it before you make the commitment to buy in bulk. I like Great Lakes brand, which is from pastured cows. NOW brand is good as well and much cheaper. Both are available at Amazon.com and have the free shipping option.

To replicate that recipe I think I would just remove the sugar/cornstarch. You’d probably need about 1 TBSP of gelatin to set a can of coconut milk. I’d let the gelatin “flower” in 2/3 c. cold water for five minutes (see my basic gelatin prep video), then add it to the warm (NOT boiling or even close to boiling as this degrades the gelatin) coconut mixture.

Please let me know if you try this and how it turns out!



Summer squash “corn”bread

27 Aug

I’m SWIMMING in summer squash! Usually I just slice it in half-moons, roast it with a little olive oil and eat it as a side or throw it on top of salads for weekday lunches. Craving pizza for lunch, I had the idea to make a “crust” of squash puree, coconut flour, and egg- it didn’t hold together well but it tasted almost EXACTLY like cornbread! I LOVE cornbread! So I whipped up another batch in bread form. OMG was it good with a schmear of pastured butter and a side of the best gazpacho ever!

Summer squash “corn”bread
Raspberry & Coconut


  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1/4 c. coconut flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • Fresh or frozen corn kernels- completely optional!


Finely grate your squash- you can do this by hand or use a food processor with a grating blade (the same one you’d use to grate Parmesan cheese).  Do NOT puree it!

You’re going to have to drain as much water as possible from the grated squash. Grab a handful, squeeze it over a trash can or sink, and plop it down on a cookie sheet. Repeat. Spread the squash over the cookie sheet and cover with a clean towel. Press the towel down to soak up the “juice.” Wring it out and repeat. I think it took me 5 or 6 times to get it right.  You want it to be firm and mold-able, like cookie dough.

It’s perfect when you can do this…


Mix your squash with the other ingredients in a separate bowl. Spread the “dough” in a small, greased bread pan, and bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes. Let it cool to room temperature before slicing- as you can see, I was too impatient and it crumbled. STILL fabulous, though!  Especially smothered in Kerrygold!

A perfect dairy- free cuppa coffee

29 Jul

Starbucks VIA + hot water + 1/4 c. Trader Joe’s unsweetened almond milk = PERFECT coffee.

If there’s anything I think about more than food.. it’s coffee.  The smell of it sets me into a tizzy.  The coffee itself, well, it changes me, man.  I don’t get hyper but it definitely flips a switch, transforming me from 8-AM “omg I hate riding the bus and work and hard boiled eggs” Lauren to Mother ‘freakin Theresa.  But I just hate black coffee, and dairy doesn’t sit well.  So, up until a few weeks ago, it was either deny my cravings or spend $2.50 at Crazy Mocha, add some half and half and sweet ‘n low, savor it for five minutes and spend the rest of the day with a mild tummy ache and the rest of the week with a pimple.  The former won out in all but my most desperate moments.

That was until I discovered Starbucks VIA through my boyfriend’s coworker, a member of a restaurant supply store that sells 50 for $10.  Lately, though, boyfriend’s stash is low and he’s being stingy with disbursements of said substance, despite my desperate text messages of “COFFEE PLZ PLZ PLZ” around 4:00 every day.  You can get them 50 for $28 at Amazon.com- free shipping, too!  Still only $.57 for 16oz!  Just add hot water, and dare I say it, it’s BETTER than chain coffee!

Also new to my life is Trader Joe’s unsweetened vanilla almond milk.  I’ve tried SO MANY substitutes for creamer- Almond Breeze, hemp milk, coconut milk, coconut creamer, stevia, cashew milk… nothing ever measured up.  This stuff is awesome- it’s 40 calories per cup and the PERFECT mate for VIA.  I’m a fiend for sweetness, but this combo doesn’t need anything, it’s delightful and nutty and so much “lighter” than coffee with cream- perfect for summer!

I’ve found the Holy Grail of coffee for you, my dairy- free friends. So, tell me below- do you have a favorite brand of coffee? What’s your perfect ‘cuppa?

Homemade Mayonnaise

20 Jun

I rarely use mayo but wanted to make my dad’s favorite broccoli bacon salad (recipe coming shortly!) for our Fathers’ Day cookout.  I’ve never found a brand that doesn’t contain something nasty like canola or soybean oil, so I take the ten minutes to make my own, following this recipe from Alton Brown.  I save my bacon drippings for mayo- they keep forever in the fridge- a 1:1 ratio of melted bacon grease to macadamia oil is lovely.  The batch I made did thicken up in the fridge overnight, but it was more like thick hollandaise than Hellman’s.  On the flipside, you don’t want to use too much bacon grease because the mayo will be rock hard after refrigeration.



Homemade Mayonnaise
Adapted from Alton Brown


  • 1 raw egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup oil, (I prefer a 50/50 mix of melted bacon drippings and macadamia nut oil)


Continue whisking until all of the oil is incorporated. Leave at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours then refrigerate for up to 1 week.

Low-carb Zucchini “Noodles”

12 Jun

Sometimes a girl just wants a big ol plate of pasta.  If I correctly recall junior high nutrition class, a “serving size” of pasta is 1 cup.  According to nutritiondata.com, that measly cup of pasta is going to cost you 221 nutritionally void calories, 43 g. carbs, only 3 g. from fiber.  The half zucchini I used in my video gave me about 3c. “noodles” for 25 calories, 5g. carbs, 2g. fiber and an assortment of vitamins and minerals to soak up that delicious sauce.

If you’re a meatball lover like me you MUST invest in a spiralizer (see my Amazon store for the one I use).  Zucchini season is almost upon us, people!

As for the meat sauce, I cooked some ground beef and mushrooms in a skillet, added ~ 1/2 c. jarred pasta sauce, a small handful of fresh basil, and a sprig of thyme.  I let that simmer for ten minutes and then turned the heat down and tossed in my zucchini noodles, then let it heat up for another few minutes.  You don’t want to cook them too long, though- they will get soggy.

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